Camelot – the name alone evokes a special world of beauty, fairness, and love. The show, originally directed by Moss Hart, opened in 1960 at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and ran for more than three years and 873 performances. Imagine being Julie Andrews starring in the original production and having to choose between Richard Burton (Arthur) and Robert Goulet (Lancelot). Camelot won four Tony Awards and the cast album was the top selling record album in America for 60 weeks!
Not to be outdone by Broadway, Village Players’ production of Camelot, now in rehearsal, has its own special formula for love with more than six special couples in the show, including …
“If ever I should leave you….”
Husband and Wife Team Conroy:
Camelot director Holly Conroy and producer Bryan Conroy are a Village Players story. Both are long-term, stalwart members. They met at Village Players in 2001 when Bryan was recruited to work backstage on “Lion in Winter” in which Holly was playing the lead. As he gazed at her lovingly from the wings, he wondered if she would ever notice the humble stagehand. He thought “only when pigs fly…” Turns out they do!
“It wouldn’t be in summer…”
Husband and Wife Team Shilakes:
Newlyweds (married less than one year) Tom and Beth Shilakes are playing Arthur and Guinevere. Tom and Beth have worked in shows together, but reported that this is the first time they have actually spoken to each other on stage. A good start for a marriage! They met when both were members of the Troy Community Chorus, and have appeared together in Village productions of “The Secret Garden,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Man of La Mancha,” the later also directed by Holly Conroy.
“Seeing you in summer I never would go…”
Husband and Wife Team Dundas:
Over the years, Mike and Pam Dundas note that they have worked together on “too many shows to count,” although they typically take turns directing. Pam claims that she has been playing “65 year olds” since the age of 16, so she and Mike rarely played directly opposite each other. “Mike was always the male ingénue,” Pam sighs. One exception was the middle stanza of the show “Apple Tree” where they actually played a couple. In Camelot, Mike plays Lionel and Pam plays Lady Pam.
And still, there are more. Our production team includes everyone’s “fun couple” Team Rosati, Ralph and Sharon! And working hard backstage as always, the ever popular Team Tillotson, Jack and Julie.
Camelot… love is in the air… or is that spring?
(Next week…Even more “couples” on stage at Village Players…most for the first time!) –Gary Mach